Boost Productivity and Comfort With This Home Office Tech
According to a 2012 American Community Survey, 2.6 percent of U.S. employees consider their home their primary place of work. That’s nearly an 80 percent increase in the number of workers who telecommuted in 2005—and this doesn’t include those who are self-employed.
While studies suggest that working from home can increase productivity, working from a home office can also be a struggle at times. Whether it’s trying to work while the kids are at home or wasting time with constant trips to graze the refrigerator (my downfall), getting used to working from home can take some effort and discipline. One key to solving this dilemma is having the right home office setup.
Here are some tools, technology, and furniture suggestions for setting up a productive home office.
1. RescueTime Productivity Tool
Working from a home office is a challenge for many. With no one else around, you’ll find that it’s much easier to get distracted and lose track of time. RescueTime helps you avoid hanging out on Facebook all day instead of getting your work done.
RescueTime monitors your browsing habits and lets you know when you’re spending too much time on distracting sites. If you need to focus and get a project done, you can turn on the Get Focused mode to block all distracting sites for a specified time period.
Read the full article here.
Want to File Your Tax Return For Free? Here’s How You Can
There’s a secret to filing your tax return that you might not know about. It takes away the headache of filing taxes by hand and let’s you submit your taxes for free. It’s called Free File. Maybe you’ve heard of it before, but it’s unlikely that you’ve used it.
Maybe you’ve heard of it before, but it’s unlikely that you’ve used it. According to The Wall Street Journal, less than 3% of eligible taxpayers are using this software.
So, why don’t more people use it? For one, many haven’t heard of it. Plus, there are a few rules for using it. That’s why we’ve written this post to make filing taxes for free easier.
If you know or think that you qualify for the IRS Free File program, here’s an FAQ sheet about taking advantage of the software’s savings.
What software can you use for free?
Free File lets you use software from many popular name-brand tax return filing software options, including TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxACT, and more. Using technology to file your tax return means you can get it done faster and more accurately than attempting to fill in forms by hand.
Skeptical? According to The Wall Street Journal, these companies offer software for free in exchange for a promise from the IRS not to offer free, competing software. So if you can take advantage of the program, it’s a good deal.
Read the full article here.
Red Pocket Mobile® and PreCash® Team Up to Make Paying Bills Fast and Easy For Contract-Free Smartphone Customers
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Sept. 9, 2014 – Red Pocket Mobile and PreCash announced today that Evolve Money™, the free bill-payment app from PreCash, is now available as an added feature to Red Pocket Mobile customers through Red Pocket's mobile site, m.goredpocket.com.
Evolve Money enables users to make a free, instant payment of their electric bill, auto loan, mortgage and other bills to more than 11,000 service providers, including all major utilities, cable and insurance providers directly from their Red Pocket Mobile phone.
Red Pocket Mobile is a contract-free wireless operator available through major and local retailers nationwide, including Target, Dollar General and Fry's Electronics. Evolve Money, an online and mobile bill payment platform from PreCash, comes pre-installed as an app on select devices.
Read the full Press Release here.
PRECASH TO POWER MCALLISTER INDUSTRIES’ NEW Redde Pay® PORTAL
Partnership offers merchants better way to serve prepaid and cash-based customers
Las Vegas, Aug. 18, 2014 — PreCash, a recognized leader in payments and transaction processing, and McAllister Industries, a national distributor of prepaid cards for Latin American markets throughout the United States, announced at The Prepaid Press Expo ’14 that PreCash will power McAllister Industries’ new Redde Pay merchant portal.
The Redde Pay portal provides merchants with a web-based payments portal for bill payment, international long distance, domestic and international mobile top-up, as well as a suite of other value added products to better serve their customers. McAllister will distribute the Redde Pay portal product to its more than 150,000 merchant locations throughout the U.S. Redde Pay merchant locations will also be included as part of the PreCash load network, allowing merchants to sell a virtual load product that can be redeemed at a number of product sites powered by PreCash.
“Partnering with McAllister Industries and its team of veteran distributors gives us the opportunity to offer our processing technology to merchants looking for a better way to manage customer payments, said Blair Jeffery, senior vice president of Sales and Business Development for PreCash. “This represents a significant opportunity to scale our vision of providing world-class payment services to merchants all over the country.”
“Feedback and demand for the Redde Pay portal has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Robert McAllister, CEO of McAllister Industries and a 20-year veteran of the prepaid calling card industry. “By teaming with Precash we are able to deliver a full suite of Bill Payment, ITU, Domestic Wireless, Prepaid Energy, and other local and regional services in an innovative portal solution directly to neighborhood locations to better serve the growing demand across the country.”
PreCash uses its cloud-based platform to enable and process payment transactions via proprietary and branded mobile, online, and retail interfaces. The platform provides robust reporting, settlement, compliance, and commissioning tools to support all parties in the payment ecosystem, as well as the flexibility to expand the product suite.
About PreCash, Inc.
Founded in 1998, PreCash delivers comprehensive, fast, convenient and low-cost payments services for businesses and consumers alike. Its robust bill payment platform helps businesses such as retail services; retail goods, including grocers; financial institutions and virtual service providers generate revenue and build stronger bonds with customers through standard and expedited bill payment processing. Its consumer payment solution, the Evolve Money™ application, allows consumers to pay all of their bills from their smartphone, tablet or PC. To learn more visit www.precash.com or follow us on LinkedIn.
About McAllister Industries
McAllister Industries is a privately held corporation with a rich history in the Prepaid Industry through card production facilities and subsidiaries such as MonsterTel and Alta-Tel that distributes Prepaid Cards throughout the United States. With a network of Master Distributors in all corners of the country, McAllister Industries will quickly establish a substantial footprint to deliver state-of-the-art financial services to millions of consumers currently underserved. Please visit us at www.reddepay.com for more information.
6 Fast and Simple Ways to Reduce Monthly Bills
Whether you're a single working professional with an active social life or a parent trying to raise your kids, it can seem as if there are never enough minutes in the day. When we're constantly pressed for time, we have a tendency to make poor financial decisions and let our money management slip. With the right approach, however, you can actually find many ways to lower your monthly bills without eating up a lot of that precious time. Here are six fast and simple ways to reduce your monthly bills.
1. Schedule an Energy Audit
Scheduling an energy audit only takes a few minutes, and many service providers offer them for free. A representative comes to your home and performs about an hour-long inspection. When done, you're left with a list of ways you can save on your utility bills, and it's up to you to implement them - many can be executed in short order.
2. Cancel or Reduce Your Cable TV Bill
Don't watch a lot of TV? Cancel your cable and save big-time by switching to streaming services. Hulu Plus and Netflix each cost $8 per month, and Amazon Prime is $99 per year (including free shipping on all Amazon purchases). If you want local channels, pick up a digital antenna, install it, and you're all set.
If cutting the cord doesn't meet your entertainment requirements, call your provider and ask for a discount. Have a competitor's teaser deal in hand and use that to your advantage. Even if you get a $15 monthly discount for the next year, that's $180 in savings.
Read the full article here.
Evolve MoneyTM Offers Consumers More Choices For Paying Bills With The Addition Of Debit And Prepaid Card Payment Option
Consumers are Catching On to the Fast, Simple and Affordable Way to Pay Bills Online or with a Smartphone Using Cash and Debit Cards
Evolve Money, the first online and mobile app that makes it easy for people to track and quickly pay more than 10,000 bills using cash, now offers people more choices of how to pay with the addition of debit and prepaid cards. Launched this summer by PreCash, Evolve Money is gaining traction as a fast, affordable and secure way to pay bills from one place and is an alternative to bank bill payment services.
"By adding debit and prepaid card payments, we are reaching a broader segment of consumers who are looking for convenience and a faster way to manage and pay their bills," said Steve Taylor, CEO for PreCash. "Evolve Money offers the ultimate in flexibility. Users can pay each bill with cash, or a different payment card. They can pay them all at once, or one at a time, and they can pay more than 10,000 bills for free, or choose express payment for only $1.50 to avoid an expensive late fee."
Read the full press release here.PreCash
PreCash Makes Paying Bills Easy For Customers of a National Wireless Carrier
PreCash and Cachet Financial Solutions Offers Fast, Easy and Free Bill Payment with Evolve MoneyTM, and the Ability to Upgrade to a Mobile Wallet
PreCash and Cachet Financial Solutions announced today that Evolve MoneyTM, a fast, easy and free way to pay bills through smartphones is now available to Cricket Wireless customers. Evolve Money offers bill payment to more than 10,000 billers, including free instant bill pay for Cricket service. The new service is the easiest and least expensive way to expedite last-minute payments for these customers.
Evolve Money is a bill payment service provided by PreCash and Cricket is the first consumer brand to offer the service directly to its customers. Evolve Money comes pre-installed as an app on select Cricket AndroidTM devices. The app is also available for free download from Google Play and is available for use on any computer, tablet or smartphone at www.evolvemoney.com. "Currently more than half of Americans have smartphones, and the number continues to grow," added Steve Taylor, president and CEO of PreCash. "Cricket recognizes the importance of mobile commerce and specifically the significance of bill payments in people's lives. For most people, paying bills is half of their monthly budget. Now with Evolve Money, Cricket can offer their customers a better way to pay bills using the device they carry with them everywhere they go."
"Cricket is committed to offering our customers greater flexibility, affordability and reliability, and the availability of Evolve Money supports that mission by giving our customers an option to pay their bills anywhere and anytime from their mobile devices," said Larry Atwell, director, value added services at Cricket.
Read the full press release here.PreCash
PreCash Service Day 2013
At PreCash, we are committed to giving back to our community through various charitable services. Our Houston and Portland employees participated in a company-wide Service Day by volunteering at local organizations on September 12th. The Houston office spent the day at the Houston Food Bank, moving over 11,000 pounds of food and creating over 9,000 meals for families in the area. The Portland office worked with the Portland Parks and Recreation department to enhance the green space in Washington Park by planting bulbs, pruning plants and building a gravel path. Activities like our Service Day make PreCash stronger through reinforcing one of our company's core values, which is social responsibility.
Here is our Houston office at the Houston Food Bank:
Here is our Portland office working with Portland Parks and Recreation:PreCash
Cash-based Consumers Now Have a Better Way to Pay Bills via Mobile and Online
PreCash today announced the launch of Evolve Money, the first online and mobile app that makes it easy for consumers to track and quickly pay more than 10,000 bills without needing a bank account, credit, debit or prepaid card. Evolve Money differs from other alternative payment services because consumers can pay their bill for free or get a same-day, expedited bill payment at little cost. Cash-based consumers now can make fast, affordable bill payments online or from the convenience of a smartphone.
"Many consumers prefer to use cash as a way to manage their money, but it often takes more time and costs more to do so, especially if they want to make an expedited payment," said Steve Taylor, CEO and President for PreCash. "The beauty of Evolve Money is consumers can get a load pack or PIN at thousands of locations and then use their smartphone, tablet or computer to make payments either real-time for $1.50 per transaction, or as a standard two day payment which is free. That far exceeds any options out there where there's a premium fee that can cost up to $25 for some immediate payments and several dollars for standard payments."
Evolve Money also offers a payment management tool that tracks and keeps a history of all transactions. With this feature, cash paying users can manage their bills and finances with tools often only available to bank and credit card customers.
"When paying bills at a convenience or grocery store, or using money orders, people pay a fee for each individual bill, they may have to go to several locations, and there are no tools that allow you to track and budget payments over several months," adds Taylor. "Evolve Money gives people that pay with cash a way to save all of their bills in one place and the ability to track their payments. It's an experience akin to paying bills online through a bank, but the payments are much faster."
The mobile app is available today for free from Google Play for Android owners, while other smartphone, tablet and computer users can use Evolve Money by visiting www.evolvemoney.com.
Read the full press release here.PreCash
PaymentsSource - PreCash Sets Its Sights on Banks by Speeding Up Mobile Payments
By David Heun, August 7, 2013
As mobile wallets expand their services, they more closely resemble full-fledged bank accounts. And PreCash Inc. says it can do at least one job better than banks do today.
PreCash's new PayConnect mobile and online bill payment system claims to deliver funds to billers faster than they typically arrive from bank accounts. The system works in conjunction with single-use payment cards to fund bill payments for cash users.
"We see the issues in bill payment around speed and the intersection of mobile as a way for us to expand beyond the underserved space and into the bank space," says PreCash CEO Steve Taylor.
Mobile wallets will eventually become an alternative to a bank account by offering direct deposits, a companion card and more funding options, Taylor says.
"In those cases, the mobile wallet really is a bank account, and those mobile wallets are going to need bill paying services," Taylor adds.
Mobile wallets typically ask users to link a bank account or credit card, but several prominent wallets, such as Isis and PayPal, provide a stored-value account linked to a plastic card. PayPal users have several ways to fund their accounts without bank accounts, such as by using Coinstar machines, PayPal and Green Dot cash cards, and eventually MoneyGram.
Green Dot's GoBank account further demonstrates how prepaid card providers are making their offerings more like bank accounts, Taylor says.
With the cloud-based PayConnect system PreCash is launching this week, "80% of our payments [can be] made within one day," Taylor says.
Consumers paying bills online through a bank use a slower clearing process and typically cannot make payments when banks are closed on weekends, Taylor says.
PayConnect can integrate into existing services as an application programming interface, or as a white-label mobile and online app bearing a biller's brand.
PreCash PayConnect can serve underbanked consumers with a bill-payment card that would be available at retail locations such as check-cashing or lending services. The consumer could pay cash to load money through the PayConnect card. After the retail clerk scans the card in, the consumer can use the funds to pay bills from a computer or mobile device.
Though prepaid card marketers such as Green Dot sell reload cards, PreCash is the first company in the bill-pay market to utilize a gift-card concept, Taylor says. When the PayConnect card runs out of funds, the consumer would need to buy another one, he adds.
"We are taking this approach because we are bank-like secure and follow regulatory compliance, but we don't want the regulatory burden of holding a consumer's personal information with a reloadable payment card at this time," Taylor says.
PreCash is filling "an interesting need" with its bill-paying platform and could become "a giant in this space very quickly" if the company attracts the right mix of partners, says Scott Strumello of New York- and London-based Auriemma Consulting Group.
"A partnership with a big retailer to provide this service could turn things upside down overnight in the mobile wallet space, while still serving the underbanked," Strumello says.
If PreCash could land a deal with Walmart, for example, it would be akin to "having an 800-pound gorilla on your side," Strumello says.
In the future, PreCash may also find itself in a position to partner with traditional banks to provide bill-paying services, especially if the company can help a bank avoid the common method of processing payments in batches through old mainframes, Strumello adds.
PreCash establishes different pricing models with its customers, depending on the products and services involved. "Some [contracts] will be based on convenience fees, others on a revenue-share with partners," Taylor says. "Our main focus is to drive the cost of paying a bill down for the consumer."
Read the full article here.PreCash
Video Shares PreCash's Vision for Mobile and Online Bill Payments
PreCash is looking to make a splash in the mobile and online bill payment category. Check out the new video.PreCash
PreCash Launches Virtual Payments Platform to "Fix" Bill Pay by Adding Speed, Convenience and Lower Prices
Today we announced our new platform PreCash PayConnect. The idea behind it is to improve the consumer online and mobile bill pay experience. PreCash PayConnect is a mobile and online bill pay platform that gives companies vying for a share of the emerging digital and mobile wallet market an easy way to offer fast, convenient, low cost payments.
Read the full press release here.PreCash
ZPrepay Partners with PreCash for Bill Pay
Consumers Can Pay Bills to Thousands of Service Providers
ZPrepay Inc., a provider of Point-of-sale (POS) technology and prepaid distribution in the US, has partnered with PreCash, a provider of payments services and transaction processing, to offer bill payments to its customer base.
ZPrepay says the cornerstone of its service offering is a back office and POS platform that offers customers continual connectivity, reduced rates and special discounts of new prepaid wireless pins and top up products.
"The addition of PreCash's bill payment services enhances our current product offering to our retailers nationwide," said Parvez Jasani, CEO of ZPrepay. "Our partners can now offer fast, low cost bill payments to thousands of billers through their existing POS equipment."
PreCash's bill payments services are available to all ZPrepay retail customers through a cloud-based interface. The clerk takes a customer's cash payment, collects a convenience fee and the transaction is processed electronically. PreCash says it offers more than 10,000 bill payment options, and the full suite of billers can be made available through any device a consumer might use to pay bills, including POS devices, self-service kiosks, mobile and online applications and more.PreCash
PreCash Bill Payments Integrated into Vesta PayMobiletm Wallet
Expedited bill payments from PreCash expands mobile payment platform
Vesta Corporation recently announced the availability of the Vesta PayMobiletm wallet, a smartphone application that enables mobile operators to offer core financial services to their prepaid customers. Powered by partnerships with PreCash, Xoom and Prepaid.com, the mobile wallet includes money transfer, bill payment and international top-up services.
By leveraging a customer's top-up account details, the combined experience delivers an easier to use, more cost-effective solution than retail-based alternatives.
There are 68 million unbanked and under-banked consumers in the U.S. and the majority of these are prepaid mobile subscribers, according to the FDIC. These consumers regularly use alternative financial services, which today are almost entirely cash-and retail-based. By offering the Vesta PayMobile wallet, mobile network operators (MNO's) can enable their prepaid customers to conduct mobile commerce and access critical banking services through their smartphones.
Through this partnership, Vesta integrated PreCash's mobile and online bill pay platform into the wallet. This provides users the ability to pay more than 10,000 bills in the United States with cash or cards using their smartphone. Additionally, users can add cash to their wallet at over 50,000 retail locations nationwide.PreCash
Discover's Beth Horowitz Talks Innovation with PYMNTS.com
Mentions PreCash's Use of Virtual Prepaid Cards for Bill Payments
PYMNTS.com recently spoke with Beth Horowitz of Discover about their prepaid offerings. During the interview, Horowitz says that PreCash is behind one of the, "most exciting trends."
Beth is referring to our innovative use of virtual cards as a better way to process consumer bill payments. Virtual card payments are a core technology behind our mobile, online and walk-in bill pay initiatives.
If you're impatient, the discussion about PreCash starts at the 8:15 mark on the audio link.PreCash
Better Bill Payments
The Virtues of Virtual Cards
Can we accelerate bill payments and reduce costs? Blair Jeffery, PreCash senior vice president, sales and business development shares his ideas for making this possible in this month's in Digital Transactions magazine. Check it out here.PreCash
Welcome Jim Lerdal, Our New Senior Vice President Operations
Jim Lerdal recently joined PreCash as senior vice president of operations. Jim brings more than 24 years of financial services and operations experience to the PreCash executive team.
"Jim has extensive experience in the payments and financial services industry, much of that time spent in a leadership role helping companies improve operations, implement best practices and improve customer satisfaction," said Steve Taylor, CEO, PreCash. "As we continue expanding our retail and virtual payments presence, he will do an excellent job to ensure we maintain our tradition of operational excellence with an intense focus on serving our customers."
Read the full press release here.PreCash